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Do Cats Eat Squirrels?

Cats, despite the affection and docility they display, are apex predators. Your cat helps protect your household by keeping mice, rats, lizards, and other small animals out. Practically, any smaller animal triggers their hunting instincts. Sometimes, it might even keep an eye on the neighbor’s dog. The feline might also predate and eat these small animals. But do cats eat squirrels? Here is an exclusive look at whether cats eat squirrels and whether they are harmful to their health.

So, Do Cats Eat Squirrels?

Yes, cats eat squirrels if the chance presents itself. The majority of the cats will hunt squirrels and other smaller species of wild animals and rodents such as mice, rats, and insects. They might catch the squirrels to play with them but will surely eat them if they want. Felines are instinctual predators, and squirrels are one of their prey animals. Cats are opportunistic hunters and will not forfeit the chance to prey on, kill and eat a squirrel. This is particularly true for the domesticated felines that don’t have many chances to hunt for food compared to wild cats.

As domesticated cats don’t have as excellent hunting skills as wild cats, they are not as good, so some will only predate on baby squirrels. Older squirrels are often too intelligent and fast for them to be able to catch. Eating fresh prey helps to maintain the cat’s teeth and gums in proper condition while also exercising their jaw muscles.

Do Squirrels Fear Cats?

Squirrels do not fear cats, but they are watchful of them. Of course, squirrels have a good reason to be watchful and careful about cats as well as bigger animals. Although squirrels are fast, cats are bigger, more powerful, instinctive hunters and might be just as fast. Naturally, squirrels are non-aggressive and tend to stay away from predatory species such as felines. However, if cornered, the squirrel will use its sharp claws to fight back and defend itself.

Do Cats Eat Squirrels

Can Squirrels Transmit Diseases To Cats?

Yes, squirrels can transmit diseases such as plague, rabies, typhus, and brain worms to your cat. Poisoned or weak squirrels are easier to catch and hence pose a threat to your pet’s health. Domesticated cats are more prone to these diseases because they have a weaker immune system than wild animals. More dangerously, your pet can transmit the disease on to you and your family members and, in turn, cause more extended community sicknesses. Due to this, you require to be careful about your cat-eating squirrel.

Another concern for cats eating squirrels is parasites. Wild animals such as squirrels are susceptible to infestation with mites, fleas, ticks, and other parasites. More so, in the incident of a successful hunt, it is straightforward for your cats to consume the internal parasites and worms that might pose a significant health danger to your cat. In short, there are various reasons why allowing your cat to hunt squirrels might be a terrible idea, including getting bites, scratches, and other injuries from a cornered squirrel trying to fight back.

How to Stop Your Cat from Eating Squirrels

While there is nothing you can do to change the instinctive hunting in your cat, they will reduce as the cat gets older. But if you can’t wait that long, there are some things you can do to discourage the behavior.

  • Feed It Enough Food

A hungry cat will be more likely to hunt for food which might include squirrels. Therefore, feeding your cat enough food will discourage it from hunting squirrels more often. A well-fed cat will be less likely to go hunting.

  • Play With The Cat

Another way of diminishing the hunting instincts of your cat is spending time and playing with your cat. Playing gives the cat mental stimulation, which in turn helps to satisfy their hunting desires. Select toys that give them a similar hunting experience, such as those that move around the room and feather teasers to sharpen their hunting instincts while decreasing the killing desire.

  • Keep Your Cat Indoors During Nighttime

Squirrels mostly come out to feed at night. More so, the hunting instincts of a cat are more alert at night. Keeping the cat indoors at night will limit their chances of locating and killing these mammals.

  • Get A Collar Bell

A cat’s collar bell will help to alert the squirrels of the position of the cat. According to study statistics, cats with a collar bell have forty percent fewer chances of catching their prey than those who don’t have it. However, you should ensure the collar is quickly releasing to prevent the cat from strangling if it gets trapped.


Cats can hunt, kill and eat squirrels. However, they do it rarely. Instead, they prefer hunting birds, mice, rats, and insects that are more readily accessible without much effort. Instead, your feline friend will catch and eat a baby squirrel as they are not very smart and are also slower. On the other hand, squirrels do not fear cats but keep a watchful eye, just like it’s the case with other bigger animals. Squirrels can transmit diseases such as plague, brain worms, rabies, and typhus. So if your cat eats a squirrel, you should take it to the veterinarian for a checkup.

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